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Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Great Big Collection of Test Prep Resources


It's that time of year...whether you dread it or just deal with it (or do a little bit of both), state testing time will be here before you know it.  Let's face it--nobody looks forward to administering hours of tests, and there is absolutely some valid controversy surrounding standardized tests. However, for many of us, it is a fact of life, and something that we need to prepare our students for.  I took some time to curate a collection of some of my favorite blog posts and resources to help you and your students get ready for the big tests.  I hope you can pick up an idea or two!  If you need even more assessment ideas, pop over to my Pinterest board for tons of ideas!


I have separated the post into Ideas & Activities, Anchor Charts, and Motivators.  Click each image to be redirected to a blog post featuring the idea.

Laura Candler has this great test prep activity freebie for making test prep fun by studying with a buddy!  Kids always enjoy working with partners, and this activity is no exception.
Try Test Prep Rotations from Teaching in Room 6!  She has six different stations that the students rotate through.  Great rotation examples!
Stinky Feet!  How super fun is this game, and everyone is always into it because they never know who gets the sticky note with what value on it.  So much fun!
Using this fun multiple choice foldable is a great idea for keeping kids engaged!  You can put a passage and a question on the board and quickly see who got the answer right.
How about this super motivating ticket  system from the Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher?  She checks each answer as the students work, and if they get it right, they get a ticket.  Not only does it motivate them, but it also helps you to see which kids are missing which problems and intervene immediately.
Test prep motivation using student names!  They each write an acrostic with excellent advice for doing well on the test.  The text in this example reads: Get a good nights sleep. Read the questions very carefully. Always eat a good breakfast. Come to school on time. Influence others to do good. Encourage yourself to do good. (Source Unknown)
This is a blog post I made after doing a big rotation with my students using task cards!  It's an older post, but it still explains how my students use a passport to work on concepts and prepare for the tests!  If you need task cards, look no further!  I have hundreds of sets HERE.
Test prep graffiti style from Jennifer at Teaching to Inspire in 5th!  I love how she adapted this popular activity to make it into a test prep activity.  
Here is a great idea from Blair Turner about working in groups to make test prep meaningful!
A huge part of taking a standardized test is understanding what is being asked and being able to read the questions.  Preparing students for the vocabulary they will find in state tests is crucial to their success.  Grab this freebie from The Science Penguin and see how she prepares her students by explicitly teaching test prep vocabulary.
How many times have we told students to PUT THE QUESTION IN THE ANSWER!?  We practice and practice, and Tessa from Tales from Outside the Classroom offers even more help on this essential part of taking tests.
When I originally created these task cards, it was not with the intent of using them as test prep task cards, but simply to review all of the standards in the springtime.  But when I started using them, I realized it was the perfect way to prepare for tests and see which students needed extra remediation in which areas!  You can buy these task cards at my Teachers Pay Teachers store for grades 3-5. 
Jen from Runde's Room came out with this great four corners sticky note activity for test prep!  She has some other great ideas in this blog post as well.
We made these Types of Comprehension Questions foldables in my class last year just days before test prep.  My students benefited so much from reviewing each of these and talking about identifying characteristics of each type of question.
Students LOVE Jeopardy type quiz shows, and they are the perfect way to review and prep for tests!  Here is my take on them, and I use pre made task cards to make it easy for you!  You can adapt this to just about ANY topic.


A test prep olympics!  Wow!  What an engaging, fun, and meaningful idea to get kids really into preparing for tests without knowing just how much work they are doing.  You could do this with task cards, too!


This is something that could easily hang in a room all year long, but I particularly like it to prepare children for the types of questions they might find on a standardized test.
Here is a wonderful anchor chart for test prep!  You can apply this to any subject areas, and it will remind your students to relax a little bit. :)  This blog post also has a great post explaining the different levels of proficiency on state assessments.
This test taking tips anchor chart from Scholastic Teacher Kristy Mall would be extremely beneficial to create together.  You could absolutely have your own ideas that need to show up on the chart, but also let students add their own! 
I ADORE this test prep anchor chart, particularly for students who have never taken a standardized test.  It answers their questions and calms many fears.
I love this anchor chart to go right along with the rumors anchor chart...if students get stuck, they need to have a plan of action other than selecting a random answer.  Here is a great one to walk through with your students before testing begins!
I like this reading test prep anchor chart because students should be figuring out whether something is fiction or nonfiction RIGHT AWAY.  Then they can narrow down some of the questions by paying close attention to these key details...
What kid doesn't love video games?  They could each have their own video game controller and show that they are in control of the test!
If you haven't already begun teaching your students strategies for problem solving, now is definitely the time to do it.  Students really latch on to strategies like CUBES because they can remember it and walk through the steps each time a problem shows up on the state tests.  This is a great post that explains it!

How sweet is this acrostic with Smarties?  
How much would your kids LOVE this assessment survival bag!?  Easy to have a parent volunteer put together, and guaranteed to bring a smile to your students' faces.
I love Tessa's treats for each day of the week of testing!  She has the labels for free on her blog, too!
SO incredibly cute.  (Source unknown.  If it's yours, please let me know!)
I know that kids would just love seeing these good luck wishes as they came in on testing days.
And finally, one of my favorite ways to motivate students... Assign parents "top secret" homework the week before state testing. Their homework is to secretly send in a letter of encouragement to be given to their child before they start! Great idea!  Parents are a child's biggest fan!
Do you have any great ideas for test prep?  Please feel free to share them in the comments or send me an email at teachingwithamountainview@gmail.com so that I can add them to this list!

If you are looking for a test prep math project, I have them for 4th-6th grades!  They are designed to prepare your students for the rigor that comes with state testing, but they are engaging enough to keep your kids crunching numbers all day long!

 

10 comments:

  1. GREAT resources. Thanks for the wonderful post. Smiles and stop by anytime.

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  2. GREAT resources. Thanks for the wonderful post. Smiles and stop by anytime.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for all the resources in one great post Mary! In Michigan we have our test prep season coming up in the Spring for the first time, so I'm looking forward to implementing many of these ideas. Thanks again!

    Melissa
    Wild About Fifth

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